tv [untitled] September 9, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT
fundamentally there were car-free buildings, i would not be here urging you to take discretionary review, but i don't think that's the only issue with this building, this building is too big, too tault, too passive, out of scale with its surroundings, a particularly smaum site that it is next to a historic district, that it is on a thriving area of valencia that is not characterized by particularly tall buildings currently and it is next door to a critically important cultural resource for all of san francisco. this building might be appropriate in other parts of eastern neighborhoods, it is certainly important for portions of soma and mission, but it is not appropriate where it is being proposed. now, the developer is not bb -- to be blame today maximize
square footage and i think it is up to you to help these neighbors, they are in the unreasonable people, they understand a building is going to go there that is taller and bigger and more massive than what is there now but i think they are justifiable concerned and worried about what is being proposed and i think they're justifiable worried, they have not seen a response from the developer, i urge you to grant discretionary review and urge you to continue to urge the developer to work on making a project that works and sits with the neighboring great community. thank you. >> thank you. >> hi, my name is sue labec and me and my husband are stewards
of one of the beautiful victorians that was shown, i sent you a letter, i just want to underscore what you heard and what the bottom line of that letter which is three points, the building design for 1050 valencia is important in form and scale to its location, a hill street address in particular must be built to a hill street density, and the process taken by this development team in working with the neighborhood has been totally unacceptable. thank you so much for listening and i hope that you will grant our request. thank you. >> good evening, and good evening, neighbors. my name is barbara russell, i
own property i bought in 1962 on hill street. i'm a native san franciscan, i was born 71 years ago and i lived in hunter's point in valencia projects, i lived in the projects. my first home, i was trying to get pregnant actually and couldn't until i moved into hill street, 9 months later, my son was born so i always know how long i've had this property. i still have it, i have it as rentals now because i live across the street on garero, so i own a bigger victorian because i love victorians and this is my whole motivation to live in this great victorian neighborhood and i live at 906, i also own a piece of property at 22nd of fair oaks which is 8 units, i have 8 garages, i have [inaudible] on the top floor, i have a backyard for people when
they want to go and barbecue and it's taken care of. i really pry myself in ownership. i took my family home on douglas street, i have 25% of my lung capacity, it's hard for me, but i'm a fighter, i made it from five units to 8 units and with the neighbor's help and they took tours, one of my neighbors could not afford a new fence, so i bought the fence for her, and i worked with my neighbors and we did it together. and when i finished the project and sold the house, i met one of the neighbors at one of my favorite handouts, discount builders and she said, you did a great job and we appreciate the input you had and working
with us and you did a great job, even the building inspector said what a great job at final, so i just appreciate the fact that you work with a neighborhood, you work in the community, you do the best you can and you don't go in and push yourself in and say i'm going to do it my way and ignore everybody. now, we all have to work together. thank you. >> thank you. >> good evening, commissioners, i'm john and i'm a resident of valencia street. i rented my first mission district apartment in 1966, i had hardly unpacked when i learned i was going to be evicted to make way of a master plan in san francisco, they
called for the tearing down of high rise apartments for office workers who would unveil themselves tos a newly constructed bart, i join ted mission coalition and we fought and fought and stopped it. the state needs victorian houses and apartment buildings remained and so did i. 46 years later, the building that we fought then is now being proposed for the corner of my block where myself and my family has lived for 20 years. today, our community is merchants, families, senior citizens and disabled have voiced their opposition to the design of this building. we are here because of the developer, because despite of numerous meeting where we have voiced our concerns have not modified his plans in a
significant way, the modifications they have made, the elimination of all vehicle parking, the placing of building entrance on hill street and the addition of shared party decks have made their proposed building even more incompatible with our block and our neighborhood, it is out of scale, twice the height of the marsh building, the historical buildings across from it and the residential buildings of two to four apartment buildings on hill street, it's designed in density neither reflects or compliments the architecture of the historical buildings along hill or valencia streets. in 1906, the earthquake fire was stopped a block from our liberty hill historic district by a single [inaudible] leaving in tact which is one of the most architectural sound neighborhoods, san francisco, in your wisdom, i hope you
determine has the modifications proposed -- modification tos the proposed project are necessary to protect the interest of our neighborhood and community. please be that resource, commissioners, that loan sister that stands up to this developer and says make this building work for this community, not denigrate it, don't let this developer trust its life into ours, thank you. >> thank you, are there any other speakers in favor of the dr? seeing none, project sponsor, you have five minutes. >> good evening, commissioners, stephen [inaudible], the
project architect. well, i'm impressed with the degree of misrepresentation that the neighbors have exhibited tonight and i don't think i have the time or the energy to rebut all of it, but let me say that what i think is before the commission now is whether the work of the 8 years of reexamining and the eastern neighborhoods was worth it, whether this project meets the policy, planning policies that were laid down with the eastern neighborhood's rezoning and whether increasing the height five feet to add retail space, removing the density limitation to allow a more free expression of density and also removing the parking requirement was worthwhile. what i think the neighbors actually are asking for is tantamount to a spot down
zoning of this lot. we are not in a situation where they would like to adjust as in the previous dr, a setback by one or two feet. the reason the project sponsor has not compromised is that the neighbors have been unilaterally proposing a different project. it is a retro grade project, it removes the zoning that is in place and goes back to prior zoning or of zoning that never was in place, three storey building with 49 units is not a comparable situation to any brand new build on valencia street. as far as the historic issue as to whether this building is compatible or not, the example i bring to the commission to consider is something like where bush street intersects grant at the chinatown gate, there's a clear distinction of a boundary there and we need to address this situation in the
same way. one thing that impressed me more than about how preservation works, it's a rigorous process, the liberty hill boundary was created deliberately and with a lot of thought. this boundary is exactly one lot away from the project site, this site is not influenced by or directly impacting the two storey houses that were shown. what was not shown in the lovely photos of the in tact victorians is the five storey victorian that is within the historic building that is the multiunit building that takes out the entire block and takes up the entire yard, i think i'll have mark show it, we're trading off here, but this shot shows, i'm sorry there, the
view downhill street which is a very lovely tree line street, it's a very wide street and the new building peaks up about that one storey. i can go through the whole plans with the commission. it has been very difficult working with the neighbors because they have not been cooperative. the accusations to the private sponsor and to me is we have not responded, there has been nothing to respond to except do not do the project we're proposing and do the project we like. i'm appealing to the commission really, it's either support the zoning that this commission and department took years to develop or see that this site is so extraordinary that it should be down-zoned. thank you. >> good evening, commissioner,
mr. president, my name's mark rat ford, i'm the project sponsor, i would like to first address the issues of the marsh, we stand ready to work with the marsh at any time, wi eve had a couple of meetings with their board, we've offered to offer a sound engineer to find out if there truly is a problem, we offered to bound a sound wall behind it, if there's property issues, there's neighbor issues that are addressed in due course when you're building a building, it's nothing out of the ordinary, nobody's going to be shut down. this is the building we're replacing, it's a different color now, it has different tenants in it now but this is it, the marsh co-existed with this for more than a decade.
where the "party decks" are going to go, there was a fast food late parking lot back there and they survived that, for the historical neighborhood, it was inaugurated historical neighborhood with this on the corner so nothing's going to get worse than this. i have a few factual things to address, if we have time. the dr requester says the project's at least two storeys taller than anything on hill street, that's not true. there is a four storey building up on the corner, it's taller than anything in the neighborhood, that's not true, there's a five storey building across the street, there's a 7 storey building 300 feet away right on the edge of the liberty hill neighborhood, it's
comparable to ours, they say the project is at least double the units of any building on hill street, that's not true. number 8 hill street right next door to the requesters property has 9 units, number 12 hill street on the other side of her property has 7 units, and in their backyard over there, they have 12 units on 21st street. there's 13 units, that's one unit more than we're putting in on the corner of hill and gorero, so the dr request is full of misstatements and down-right specious allegations and objections and i hope you have a chance to read it. thank you. >> is there any speakers in support of the project sponsor?
>> good evening, commissioners, my name is kimberly con l*i , we are few and far between in support of this, just here in person today, but i felt it was important to come because there is quite a bit of support for this development in the neighborhood. as a young professional who originally moved to the mission because it is transit-rich, i feel i was discouraged at the time, at the lack of small apartments and places to live. i think that the representation here today with all due respect to my neighbors is mostly from people who have live ined the neighborhood for a very long time, they've done a wonderful time of maintaining their beautiful large victorian homes
but part of what the neighborhood really needs is more density, more accessible apartments and places for people to live. i live without a car, i get around entirely by bike and by bus and by bart and i think that this is exactly the neighborhood where that's possible and i just wanted to make sure that that perspective was represented here. thank you. >> good evening, my name is elizabeth shepperd and i'm here in support of the project. this isn't some big greedy developer building a high rise, this is a gentleman building one project. he spent nearly four yearser going through the planning process building a project [inaudible] requirement, he reduced the number of units down by 25% and i believe that
he deserves to have his project approved. i think it would be a better -- while i respect the neighbor's request, rather than going against what's already code compliant, i would recommend they focus their energies on changing the zoning of their neighborhood if it's not pleasing, so i would request you support the staff's recommendation to approve this project. thank you. >> good evening, commissioners, tim on behalf of the san francisco action coalition on whaf of our members, we strongly supported this project and in particular the 20% on site bmr, the no parking that it has, by definition, that is not luxury housing, it's housing that's designed to be more accessible to people who are non-wealthy. i guess the real reason i'm here is to ask you to stand for
the integrity of the eastern neighbor's plan which took ten years to prepare, hundreds and hundreds of meetings across the city, and after it was done, this is the city saying these are the rules we would like to see followed in this area which this project does. i'm sympathetic to the neighbor who is are shocked at the change that's occurring in san francisco but it seems their objection is really within w the eastern neighborhood plan itself and not this project which says we're following the rules, we ran an article in our newsletter and said two-thirds of housing in portland has no parking in it, what do they know that we don't know. this is a way to get housing more affordable to the folks that we want to live here. i think if anything, i would ask that you say yes, we got it right with the eastern
neighbors plan, five storeys in this neighborhood is not a towering, it is not looming, it's a modestly scoped project, it's set away from the historic district, it cannot be said that it can affect the value of the historic field, it's a kfc vacant +vright now. you have it in your breach to say we will stand with the eastern neighborhood plan, we want to see the city provide more affordable housing, it's on site there, we want to see less emphasis on cars, private auto use, this project does it. they did everything that the city says it wants through its eastern neighborhoods plan, it's up to you to stand forth. >> any other speakers that support the project sponsor? dr requester, you have a two minute rebuttal.
>> commissioners, as i think you probably understand by now, the neighbors, merchants and artists near this project feel passionately about the naibtd and strongly oppose this project, i think the fact that we're able to gather over 400 signatures in opposition speaks volumes, they were not able to work or xropz with the neighbors and it is not because we are asking for a down-zoning, we are merely asking that the poll sis of the mission area plan, of the eastern neighbors plan be respected here. i find it interesting that the sponsor point to the kentucky fried chicken. the fact is that this area is
largely two and three storey buildings, the fact is that not only is hill street historic but many of the buildings along valencia street are historic, the sponsor overlooks that. and certainly you can find a tall building here or a tall building there but cherry picking a particular building does not tell you about the character of the neighborhood, this is a low rise residential neighborhood with a great number of historic buildings and putting a five storey modern building in that space would detract from that space and is not compatible with the neighborhood. this is not about being for or about the eastern neighbor's plan, we support that, and as i went through in my presentation, this is not compatible with the policies that were enunciated in that plan, whether it's historic preservation, whether it is compatibility with the historic
residence. >> project sponsor, you have a two minute rebuttal. >> i do not waunbacker want to down play the concerns the marsh has about the construction next door, but i do want to express my disappointment with the marsh in particular for how it has not responded to the public sponsor, there was a long letter written by mark router ford, we met with them three times, we offered to build a sound wall, we eliminated the entire deck above, it would have to delete the requirement for open space to satisfy their request for no open space. we offered to position a loud boom box or device on the roof and have a sound engineer test
it. we've assured them that construction will take place during normal hours of construction and the project sponsor will gladly accommodate any accommodations for daytime events, the majority of their events are in the evening and would not be disturbed by construction, but all these offers have been met with a deaf ear, they have not responded at all, they have only opposed the project in total. the same behavior has been displayed by the neighbors, this has not been a cooperative venture, i have worked in the city for 25 years in every neighborhood, i have been able to work out compromises, this group has been unwilling to compromise. >> okay. the public hearing portion of this is closed, opening it up to commissioners for questions
and comments. question ant -- antonini. >> i see a number of renderings here, and now we have pages 1a on here which give us sort of a lot of wood siding, appearing to be wood and it looks pretty well done to me. i'm not sure -- the date of h?hç this actually was 12 -- 4/2/2012 which i would assume are the most recent renderings. because there are all sorts of color pictures that look a little bit different, but the sketches seem to be the ones that i'm looking at. yeah, i guess, well, those are the color pictures you have but you also had some sketches that -- there's a difference of what
appears the square corner and then the rounded corner. is it now the rounded corner? >> yes. >> okay, it looked like the square corner looked better to me but that's just a question of where we are on that. i guess it seemed to be a little bit more compatible what you see typically of the victorians and other buildings of the area, you have a square corner. >> if i could address your question, that was the initial proposal that went out for the 3/12, it didn't beat the code verbatim in terms of bay near the corner, so it needed to be revised and we collaborated to come up with a corner bay that looked like that, there was an angle bay option and the staff did not prefer that one. >> well, okay. i mean, it looks -- >> i would love to take time to
rant on the whole bay ordinance but i think it's obsolete and it forces victorian copies to be made but i think we should be given for freedom with bays, okay, i'm done. >> i think you can make your bays more compatible with the areas, and that's part of it, that's a design thing, we can work on staff on that, but there's issues that seem to be more pressing about that. it seems to be years ago, i know we sent it back for revisions, it appears you did xhaing a number of united, you had fewer units, i can't remember if we had park ining the earlier plan or not. >> we had parking in and taken it out. again, we put parking in to appease the neighbors, got no response, they were not happy with the whole building so it was too much of an effort to
put three car stackers in there so we have one car now. >> there is one car? >> there is one space that is flexible enough to act as resident loading or maybe a zip car or something. >> there is a place you can do something? that's not too material. the other question i had was the actual hiekt, there's been a lot of talk aboutbacker about hiekt, did you bring this down at all? >> the original project had a roof deck and it had quite a bit of additional height regarding the elevator tower and the screen that we put to block the sound from what has been referred to as the parking deck. >> there's this talk about party decks but it does not look like it has a deck. >> basically the rear yard, one storey above the sidewalk at the rear. >> this is actually on -- is that the hill street side?
>> yes. >> okay, i see where that is but it's not at the very top which i think is a lot better because adding more stuff to the stop only emphasizes the height and makes it less desirable and, you know, i think that it's high enough already. i can sympathize with the neighbors of the responsibility of it being a floor lower but we've been down this road a long ways and you've taken the parking away which i think is going to cause a problem with more cars competing, but that seems what staff wants and some of the neighbors realistically know that they're going to be competing with parking spaces with rez -- residents, but all in all, i don't think it's a bad project, i did want to talk maybe to the dr requester who can speak to the marsh in particular, i guess if you want to do it or whoever's re